With a personal viewpoint, writing about the arts stops sounding like Newspeak. Here is the best gift I can give an artist—a flash of my impressions of the work as open as I can divine them, uncluttered by social and historical baggage, and free of plot-spoilers.


Photographs were taken of or from Point Richmond, California and Champaign, Illinois.


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RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER by Mike Befeler

I’m not looking forward to our inescapable sentence of frailty; it’s hard enough hanging around aged relatives, why would I want to read about getting old? You’d think that reading a book about a retired old fart would be pretty darn boring. You’d think that garnering the occasional smirk would be the best you could get.

You’d be wrong on both counts.

DRIFTNET by Lin Anderson

Sometimes we need to read books which push us out of our comfort zones—it’s part of what helps us learn and know we are alive. DRIFTNET was such a book for me. The fatalities in DRIFTNET are victims of paedophilia and Lin Anderson is one of those British authors with the talent to make one feel the awful perpetrators of such crimes are almost perfectly normal … just like everyone else, nearly.

2013 story: Who's Murdering Crime Fiction?

In May 2013, our membership on the Crime Fiction group on LinkedIn had grown to over 2,200 members. So in celebration of our augmented readership, we began writing a progressive crime story .

We welcomed everyone to join us as a reader or to collaborate as a writer. Sadly, the project stalled, but read on to find out what we did.

Continue.

PERFECT HATRED by Leighton Gage

PERFECT HATRED by Leighton Gage is a fascinating story with deep insights into modern multicultural tensions of immigrant populations and the age-old fodder of political intrigue and corruption.

It’s been a year and I’ve forgotten these characters. As the story unfolds I’m reminded why I felt so moved by them. The true joy of PERFECT HATRED is the rich interaction which occurs when interesting people interact with warmth, innuendo, barbs, humour and love.

A very satisfying book.

Crime Fiction group announces 2013 Book Special for readers!

In celebration that many readers' received new eReaders and book vouchers for the holiday season, Crime Fiction group on LinkedIn has collected some (e)book specials and, hopefully, some new-to-you authors. We hope you'll find a few new favourites in the 2013 New eBook Reader Promotion from Crime Fiction group.

Click on the hyperlink above these words, or click the "Crime Fiction" button at the top of the page.

KILLING SILENCE by Peg Herring

Knowing that any novel’s premise is contrived doesn’t stop my feeling that many stories lately involve rickety staircases of logic just to read them.

Peg Herring’s KILLING SILENCE was a delightful departure; in the first few pages, I felt that pleasurable anticipation when you’ve just become enmeshed in a story you know you’re going to love. Yet from the subtitle, you might not think so; these books are called The Loser Mysteries. My aged mother-in-law looked at the cover and said she wouldn’t like to read that book; I’m going to have to tell her that she’ll enjoy it very much.

DON'T EVER GET OLD by Daniel Friedman

DON'T EVER GET OLD is a remarkable story. Buck Schatz is a wise-cracking, foulmouthed, cigarette smoking, eighty-seven-year-old, Jewish curmudgeon. The story is captivating, but I’m not sure if one reads because one needs to follow the story or because one needs to see what Buck says next.

God, do I want to be like him when I grow up!

A CARRION DEATH by Michael Stanley

Some weeks ago I lamented the loss of Cast of Characters, maps and glossaries. Michael Stanley (both of them) wrote to tell me their series featuring Detective Kubu had all these readers’ tools. This gave me the momentum to get a copy of A CARRION DEATH, the first in a series which has been on my radar for quite some time.

An open letter to authors

Dear Authors,

While this is just a complaint from one reader, know that for every person who speaks out there are 100 or 1000 who have the same complaint but don’t voice it.

COMING OUT CAN BE MURDER by Renee James

COMING OUT CAN BE MURDER is a mind-blowing story. Whatever your feelings about transgenders at the beginning, you will come to care for Bobbi and root for her survival. Author Renee James weaves such a great story, I’m fascinated to learn about this community. Bobbi has some odd friends, some sweet ones, and some acquaintances who are downright horrific. The writing is tight and clean. The pace of the story keeps the tension high.